When furnishing and decorating your home, you are making an investment in your future comfort as well as the value of the property.
You need to think about longer-term benefits when choosing structural adaptations and home furnishings. As “quality will out”, the better choices you are able to make in terms of furniture, equipment and décor, the more advantageous will be the results and the less likely it will be that you will have to spend extra money on replacement goods or on repairs and maintenance.
Choosing the best appliances
There are certain brand names that instantly spring to mind in connection with kitchen appliances, such as Samsung, Whirlpool and Bosch, and although the initial purchase price may be greater than other brands, the machines built by manufacturers who have a great reputation for reliability and optimum performance are generally a better buy. There is absolutely no point in attempting to save money by purchasing a cheap washing machine, for instance, if it breaks down as soon as it’s out of warranty, causing you stress while you try to arrange to have it repaired – yet another expense – or worse still, you may have to replace it altogether.
Magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Which? routinely carry out very thorough surveys of consumer goods and publish the results, allowing you to compare and contrast the performances of a particular item, such as a slow cooker, across a number of brands. These sorts of product reviews can be very helpful if you’re in the market for something new.
The other guide to quality products, besides comparisons, is to check if an item bears a BSI Kitemark, which indicates that the manufacturer has received a certification of quality awarded by the British Standards Institution. Kitemark companies must have excellent quality control systems to keep costs and waste to a minimum and must produce goods that are safe and reliable as well as fit for purpose.
As with the top brands of appliances, designer furniture from companies such as Ercol features excellent workmanship and is supremely stylish. Paying a little more to begin with means you are actually getting good value as many top brands offer a five-year structural guarantee and a two-year guarantee against defective or faulty manufacture.
What about the cost?
Finally, there are two things to remember when making your purchases. One is that the real cost is not the price tag you see in the shop or online. The customer cost of a product includes use costs and post-use costs as well as the initial cost of buying it. If your cheap appliance or item of furniture is defective, you will have to spend money on repairs or replacements, and there is the added cost of disposing of it when you discard it. The second thing is that personal finance is generally available to help you buy more expensive items, enabling you to afford to invest in quality.